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EU Outlaws ‘Made in Israel’ Labels for Palestinian Products

Palestinian products brought to Europe will no longer be labeled 'Made in Israel', much to Israeli PM Nethanyahu's dismay.

Europe-bound goods made on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war can no longer be labeled “Made in Israel,” the European Union declared on Wednesday in an interpretative notice.

The UE stated that labelling products coming from Israeli settlements as "Made in Israel" would “mislead the consumer and therefore is inconsistent with existing EU legislation.” The EU noted that this document does not create new legislation, but clarifies the interpretation of the existing law, whose implementation is in the hands of each European member state. Since 2009, the UK has already been implementing guidelines for food products to distinguish West Bank produce made in Israeli settlements from Palestinian West Bank, followed by Denmark and Belgium, which implemented similar measures.

The Brussels-based European Comission thus said that labels such as ‘product from Israel’ should not be used for products from the Golan Heights or the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). For products from Palestine that do not originate from settlements, the UE suggests 'product from the West Bank (Palestinian product),' ‘product from Gaza’ or 'product from Palestine.' "The European Union, in line with international law, does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, including the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory,” the notice states.

The EU decision was condemned by Israel’s PM, Benajmin Nethanyahu, who called it “hypocritical.” “Europe should be ashamed of itself. It took an immoral decision,” said Nethanyahu, accusing the entity of ignoring hundreds of other territorial conflicts around the world, and singling out Israel alone. The PM stressed that the measure will not hurt the Israeli economy, which is “strong enough to weather this.” “It's the Palestinian workers in Israeli enterprises in Judea and Samaria that will be hurt. This will not advance peace; it will certainly not advance truth and justice. It's wrong,” he said in a statement released by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.